I’m not a writer, but I read a lot of writers’ blogs

(Actually, I am a writer, but it’s easier to say I’m not than to have to clarify, “on Twitter.”)

Had you ever noticed that in the phrase “a host of aliens” you can’t know if it means a whole lot of aliens, or one person being possessed by at least two aliens?

—-

To spice up your vocabulary when talking about large numbers of things (and to avoid using “a heck of a lot” a heck of a lot) try using collective nouns from the animal kingdom:

“There were as many murders in Chicago that year as a murder of crows.”

“The Christmas trees–a whole flock of them–had been sprayed with a white insulation-like substance.”

“The group of soldiers was as large as a troop of monkeys.”

“He’d had to wear as many different splints as a brace of ducks.”

(Note: unfortunately that one could confuse the reader to think that it’s the ducks wearing the braces, which is ridiculous since ducks don’t have teeth. Side note: once I managed to both mix a metaphor and improve on it, when I told Dean that something was “as difficult as pulling hens’ teeth.”)

“There were as many giddy girls as a gaggle of geese. And they were eating lollies while gagging.”

“There were as many giddy girls as a harem of chimpanzees.”

“A pod of whales would be far less numerous than the group of teens listening to earphones and dancing in black silhouette against a vivid colored background.”

“There were as many naked men running across the stadium as a streak of tigers.”

“There were as many passengers in the Volkswagen as a drove of rabbits.”

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16 Responses to I’m not a writer, but I read a lot of writers’ blogs

  1. Lili says:

    I would like to offer one change to your soldier/monkey one:

    β€œThe group of soldiers was as large as a troop of gorillas.”

    (hardy har. I don’t have to point it out, do I? gorilla/guerilla)

  2. Stephen says:

    Ducks could wear braces to hold up their pants!

  3. the MomB says:

    Dear Z,
    I. love. these.

  4. Jen says:

    Very nice!

  5. Trina says:

    πŸ™‚

  6. zstitches says:

    Okay, everybody–use that link my mom posted and make your own. πŸ™‚

  7. the MomB says:

    If you see a bunch of buzzards, they’re a wake, but you probably won’t be awake for long; and then someone might hold a wake for you.

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